environmental engineering

PFAS CERCLA Update and PFAS Treatment

May 23, 2023

Video resource included on current and promising PFAS treatment technologies.


As you may recall, in September 2022, EPA issued a proposed rule to designate two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) — perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and their salts and structural isomers — as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as “Superfund.”  EPA is currently reviewing comments received on this proposed rule.

On April 13, 2023, EPA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) asking the public for input regarding potential future hazardous substance designations of additional PFAS substances under CERCLA.  The ANPRM includes:

  • Seven PFAS, besides PFOA and PFOS, and their salts and structural isomers, or some subset thereof, which include:
  • Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS), CASRN 375–73–5
  • Perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS), CASRN 355–46–4
  • Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), CASRN 375–95–1
  • Hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO–DA), CASRN 13252–13– 6 (sometimes called GenX)
  • Perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA) CASRN 375–22–4
  • Perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) CASRN 307–24–4
  • Perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) CASRN 335–76–2;
  • Precursors to PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS listed above; and
  • Categories of PFAS – e.g., sets of PFAS that share similar characteristics.

The ANPRM announcement in the Federal Register is available at:  https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2023-04-13/pdf/2023-07535.pdf

More solutions and information at Liquids Management.

SCS has recorded a session on current treatment technologies proven to work in the field and newer technologies that look promising to either remove or destroy PFAS. Watch the PFAS Treatment Video.





Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

EPA Aims $27 Billion at Greenhouse Gas Reduction

April 20, 2023

Climate Change Funding


EPA will hold three complementary competitions to strategically distribute grant funding under the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund program. EPA will implement these programs in alignment with the President’s Justice40 Initiative and expects to open competitions for funding under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund by the summer of 2023.

The goal is to ensure that households, small businesses, schools, and community institutions in low-income and disadvantaged communities have access to financing for cost-saving and pollution-reducing clean technology projects. EPA aims to deliver tangible benefits, including lower energy costs, good-paying jobs, and improved public health outcomes to households, businesses, and communities. The three competitions will be:

  • The$14 billion National Clean Investment Fund competition will fund two to three national non-profits that will partner with private capital providers to deliver financing at scale to businesses, communities, community lenders, and others, catalyzing tens of thousands of clean technology projects to accelerate our progress towards energy independence and a net-zero economic future.
  • The $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator competition will fund two to seven hub non-profits with the plans and capabilities to rapidly build the clean financing capacity of specific networks of public, quasi-public, and non-profit community lenders.
  • The$7 billion Solar for All competition will provide up to 60 grants to States, Tribal governments, municipalities, and non-profits to expand the number of low-income and disadvantaged communities primed for residential and community solar investment. The goal is to enable millions of families to access affordable, resilient, clean solar energy.


EPA Feedback and Listening Sessions

EPA invites written technical feedback and comments on the competition descriptions as the Agency prepares the program for release as early as June 2023. Stakeholders may send their written feedback to  by 11:59 pm ET on May 12. Over the next two weeks, EPA will convene six public listening sessions on this implementation framework. Listening session details and other information about the program are on the GGRF website.


Additional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Resources




Posted by Diane Samuels at 5:08 pm

Earth Day 2023 – Cool Things to Do!

April 19, 2023

The professionals at SCS recommend these fun Earth Day and everyday activities… 

Photo Credit: Kara Starzyk
Students from 16 area elementary schools learned about the environment on a fun-filled day at Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park.

Click to find an Earth Day event near you.

Take Action:

Play with ReFED’s interactive, fun, and educational tool!  

Earth Day is a great time to remind you that food waste reduction is a top climate change strategy! As you’ll see in this addicting, educational, and fun ReFED tool – everyone helps make a difference. Every small change citizens and businesses make has a major impact on our planet’s health and well-being. Try it out and see how we are building solutions to reduce the 91 million tons of surplus food annually in the U.S.

The ReFED Insights Engine offers the most comprehensive examination of food waste in the United States by incorporating current data from a variety of sources, including public and proprietary datasets, expert interviews, case studies, and industry research. This powerful engine has several components, including:

Food Waste Monitor – A centralized repository of information built with data from more than 50 public and proprietary datasets and providing granular estimates of how much food goes uneaten in the U.S., why it’s happening, and where it goes.

Solutions Database – A stakeholder-specific, comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of 40+ food waste reduction solutions based on a range of impact goals, plus detailed fact sheets on each.

Impact Calculator – An interactive resource that quantifies the greenhouse gas emissions reduction, water savings, and donated meal recovery potential of different food surplus management scenarios in the U.S. by sector and food type.

Capital Tracker – A dashboard to monitor the flow of capital into food waste innovation, allowing users to understand the landscape, identify key players, and plan out future funding strategies.


Use a reusable water bottle, drinking straws, and shopping bags.

Around 380 million metric tons of plastic are being produced yearly; that’s roughly the same as the entire weight of humanity. Approximately 91% of plastic is not recycled. Roughly half of our global annual plastic production is destined for a single-use product.

The average per person use is astounding; some can take 1,000 years to disintegrate.

Think of the money you’ll save along with planet Earth!

Join SCS Engineers in helping to make our planet safer and sustainable.



Posted by Diane Samuels at 11:06 am

New SCS Technical Bulletin Published for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

March 22, 2023

Environmental Due Diligence SCS Engineers

SCS Engineers periodically prepare SCS Technical Bulletins – short, clear summaries of rules, plans, and standards. In 2021, ASTM International published an updated consensus guidance document for evaluating environmental conditions at properties involved in commercial real estate transactions.

This SCS Technical Bulletin for the revised E1527-21, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process addresses definitions and terminology, clarifies industry practice for the historical records review of the subject and adjoining properties, and provides for updates and additions to appendices, report outlines, and other collateral.

Our updated edition now includes the revised guidance speaks to the business risk associated with emerging contaminants, such as Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 

Read, share, download the A New Standard Practice for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments Tech Bulletin here.


For more information about Environmental Due Diligence, please visit our website.






Posted by Diane Samuels at 3:37 pm

Applying Lessons Learned From MSW and CCR to the Development of Testing and Monitoring Plans for CO2 Storage Projects

March 7, 2023


With climate change becoming a center of attention globally, much focus has pointed toward carbon capture and storage (CCS) in recent years. While USEPA has published general guidance for Class VI permitting, it is still a new permitting challenge for both scientists and regulators alike. Drawing on lessons learned from more familiar and well-developed regulatory frameworks will be beneficial.

In our Technical Bulletin, Applying Lessons Learned From Municipal Solid Waste and Coal Combustion Residuals to the Development of Testing and Monitoring Plans for CO2 Storage Projects, we focus on the testing and monitoring aspect of Class VI permitting and related complexities, including the project’s overall scale, enhanced costs, and enhanced regulatory risk. We discuss the key considerations for developing an effective CCS Testing and Monitoring Plan based on lessons learned from developed MSW and CCR monitoring programs, as well as how early planning and good judgment can help navigate the complexities associated with CCS projects and ultimately reduce those complexities and associated project costs.

Recommendations include meticulous site characterization efforts early in the CO2 storage project and tailoring the monitoring network. The latter includes placing monitoring wells based on multiphase modeling predictions, designing geochemically and geomechanically compatible monitoring wells, and using strategic statistical techniques to analyze and interpret monitoring data.

It is important to remember that for CO2 storage, groundwater monitoring is not intended to be the primary monitoring method for detecting fluid leakage and migration. It is only one of many required testing and monitoring methods. Even so, the monitoring network must be planned and established appropriately and then tightly coordinated with the other testing and monitoring methods to maximize the protection of underground sources of drinking water.


For more information on carbon capture and CO2 storage, contact:

SCS Engineers will continue to post timely information, resources, and presentations to keep you well informed. These include additional guidance, industry reaction, and webinars with our teams using our website, on SCS Engineers LinkedIn, and on SCS YouTube on-demand forums.

Additional resources at your fingertips:




Posted by Diane Samuels at 9:16 am

Green Hydrogen – Where the rubber hits the road!

February 16, 2023


SCS Engineers Green Hydrogen
Renewable hydrogen provides an opportunity for a zero emissions fuel and is potentially an excellent feedstock for production of zero emission liquid fuels and some chemical and heat end-uses.


Green hydrogen is a clean fuel that produces only water when consumed in a fuel cell. Because it is produced from domestic resources, such as natural gas, nuclear power, biomass, and renewable power like solar and wind it is an attractive energy option for transportation and electricity generation applications.

SCS Engineers Dave Palmerton’s recent publication “Green Hydrogen – A New Frontier in Energy” evaluates the feasibility of hydrogen as green energy from production, transportation, storage, infrastructure investment, and environmental impact aspects. He discusses the technical and environmental challenges being addressed now through research, design, and development, and addressing the environmental obstacles to successful implementation of fuel cells and the corresponding hydrogen infrastructure.

Keep an eye on the Department of Energy’s Hydrogen and Fuel Technologies Office site where DOE publishes the developing and testing complete system solutions that address all elements of infrastructure and vehicle technology, integrated hydrogen and fuel cell technologies validations for transportation, infrastructure, and electric generation in systems using real-world operating conditions.


Meet the Author of Green Hydrogen – A New Frontier in Energy: David Palmerton, PG.


Additional Related Resources:


Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

The NEW Sustainability Role of Environmental Managers in Industry

February 11, 2023

SCS Engineers Sustainability
In an age where everyone is expected to do more with less, Environmental Managers are being “volunteered” to figure out this Sustainability “thing.” Company leaders, customers, shareholders, and community stakeholders expect more than just compliance these days.


A couple of decades ago, industry Environmental Managers (EM) reviewed and interpreted regulations, permit requirements, and reporting obligations and educated their operations personnel on requirements from the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. As usual, time flies, and those major pieces of environmental legislation are more than 50 years old now, and much of the framework remains unchanged. There have also been advances in the best control technologies and great strides in automated record keeping and reporting, enabling us as environmental compliance professionals to be more efficient and offering “clear skies” regarding a manageable workload. Sure, occasional exceedances, deviations, or releases require a four-alarm fire drill as an appropriate response or the integration of the most recent ISO 14001 version release. Still, for the most part, times were good.


Sustainability changes everything.

Environmental Managers read press releases from CEOs making bold claims that their company is adopting “zero” carbon or “net neutral” goals without a real baseline carbon inventory or a roadmap for accomplishing such aggressive measures. Not to say that setting stretch targets are a “bad thing.” On the contrary, they are good targets that improve environmental stewardship for companies that may not otherwise focus on such activities. John F. Kennedy’s famous “We choose to go to the Moon” speech set a bold target for landing on the moon, stretching our space program to new limits.


Meeting the New Challenge

The challenge for you, the EM, comes into play when the responsibility of this relatively new sustainability practice is now on your desk. Larger companies are hiring Sustainability Directors at a record pace which is vital to the planning and programming of new sustainability initiatives. But even then, there are situations where EMs are responsible for implementation and retrofitting plans or projects that are conceptual in nature. And if you don’t have the luxury of a Sustainability Director to lean on, you now have the additional responsibility of developing road maps and strategies.


Where can an Environmental Manager focus on impactfully?

After concluding your version of the Serenity Prayer, we suggest starting in these three areas:

  • Have a clear understanding of your baseline. Whether your company’s leadership has decided to voluntarily tackle greenhouse gases or focus on other environmental stewardship goals such as waste or water reduction, recycling, or greener supply chains, collect detailed information on your current inventory or consumption/production data. You may think this is a “no-brainer,” but many companies don’t have a complete snapshot of baseline data, whether it is waste, emissions generation, or consumption information. Many companies have not established a complete baseline and are implementing sustainability projects that may be difficult to quantify the impacts of later on.


  • Develop a list of projects prioritizing cost benefits and environmental impacts. Companies are in business to make a profit – your firm cannot be sustainable unless balancing economic viability with environmental objectives. You will likely find yourself competing for CapEx dollars with operations and other departments who are jockeying for projects with a stronger return on investment. Most sustainability projects will reduce costs and have a respectable payback period, and EMs should calculate those impacts to the bottom line and get credit where deserved. However, it also requires discussion in advance with leadership on appropriate budgets needed to implement the projects and discuss how to fund and prioritize sustainability projects over others with higher returns. Most companies have an annual planning cycle for CapEx projects and have criteria to rank and prioritize. Make sure you understand the timing and the criteria.


  • Think Circular Economy. The terms “reshoring” or “near-shoring” indicate that companies identify suppliers closer to where they make or sell their products. Globalization has been rolling back for a while, and we’re adapting to supply chain vulnerabilities exposed during the pandemic and other recent trade wars. Companies focus on identifying suppliers “closer to home” to reduce risks like lead times and transportation logistics, resulting in greener Scope 3 emissions. However, there is a larger benefit to a company’s sustainability program. For example, local or regional suppliers will be more receptive to collecting and re-using shipping containers, pallets, and other packaging materials. Having suppliers close by will also result in additional companies focused on recycling and processing materials or byproducts you may have in common with the suppliers. Research and collaborate within your regions to identify the “highest and best uses” of materials that otherwise may end up in a landfill.

These steps will go a long way toward planning, programming, and launching sustainability initiatives with measurable results. Environmental Managers are making a difference by collaborating with operations to convert sustainable ideas and goals into reality. SCS works with large and small public and private entities to support their actions.


steven stewartAbout the Author: Steven D. Stewart, P.E. PMP, SCS Engineers. Project Director. LinkedIn. I look forward to hearing, ‘One small step for man, one giant leap for Environmental Managers.’ If you need help with your sustainability program, don’t hesitate to contact us at SCS Engineers. Look for Steve this week at the GreenBiz 2023.


Additional Resources:







Posted by Diane Samuels at 4:35 pm

AI: Solving the Climate Crisis with the Help of Artificial Intelligence

February 6, 2023

SCS Engineers Sustainability
Using advanced AI technologies to achieve sustainable development helps close the gaps between your plans and achievements.


Have you ever thought about what artificial intelligence (AI) can do for Sustainability? Can it reduce energy and water usage, manage climate change and greenhouse gas emissions? Well, we have at SCS Engineers. Using advanced AI technologies to achieve sustainable development is the new reality of Sustainability. Here are five ways to apply AI toward Sustainability:

  • Clean fuel
  • Renewable energy
  • Electric vehicles
  • Better weather patterns and predictions
  • Early detection and pollution monitoring

AI and Sustainability are a match made in heaven. Artificial intelligence can help manage greenhouse gas emissions by measuring our carbon footprint and providing suggestions on how to reduce the same. It can make recommendations on which energy source is the most cost-effective for us.

AI is used in many industries to secure, measure, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Artificial Intelligence can use sensors to identify any damaged or malfunctioning equipment. The measurements are stored in a database to replace or repair defective parts and identify new process and maintenance efficiencies.

AI can help make our planet cleaner, safer, and more sustainable. AI powered by data is revolutionizing many industries, including waste management, transportation, and energy production. Wastewater management, smart grids, and water treatment are just a few examples of how artificial intelligence can positively impact our planet, including clean air, waste management, recycling, and water management worldwide.

Sustainability means we have to do more with less. For example, moving towards EVs or hydrogen fuel-based transportation can reduce carbon generation and our dependency on fossil fuels. Other efficiencies include:

  • Optimizing production processes
  • Safer work environments
  • Reduced energy usage
  • Enhanced and sustainable supply chains

AI has the potential to transform manufacturing, improve the quality of life, and even help with sustainable practices. Algorithms are designed to work with smart manufacturing to optimize production processes enabling factories to run more safely. In transportation, artificial intelligence can make supply chains more efficient and help reduce pollution from freight carriers.

Many sustainability initiatives in the field of artificial intelligence focus on minimizing environmental impacts and promoting the responsible development and use of AI. Some examples of these initiatives include:

  • The AI for Earth program, run by Microsoft, provides grants and access to AI tools and resources to researchers and organizations working on projects that address environmental and climate challenges.
  • The AI Sustainability Center, based in Finland, is a research center that focuses on the ethical, social, and environmental implications of AI and works to promote the sustainable development and use of AI.
  • The Partnership on AI, an organization comprised of leading companies and organizations in the field of AI, has a sustainability working group that focuses on responsible AI development and use, including energy consumption and environmental impact issues.
  • The DeepMind Ethics & Society research group, based at DeepMind, a leading AI research and development company, researches the ethical and societal implications of AI and works to ensure that AI is developed and used responsibly for social and environmental benefit and works to ensure that AI is developed and used in a way that is fair, transparent, and accountable.

These are just a few examples of sustainability initiatives in the field of artificial intelligence. Many other organizations and initiatives are working on these issues as well.

If you’d like learn more, contact our author and Director of Sustainability Programs, Ajay Vonkarey.



Related Areas of Interest

GHG emissions inventories, estimating GHG reductions, verification

Video: Carbon Sequestration

Remote Monitoring & Control

Ambient Air Monitoring






Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Dr. Abdul R. Mulla-Saleh Joins SCS Engineers

February 3, 2023

SCS Engineers
Mulla-Saleh is a licensed Professional Engineer in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer who has supported large civil and environmental projects globally.


Abdul Mulla-Saleh, PhD, PE, BCEE, joins SCS Engineers as a Project Director specializing in civil and environmental services for solid waste management and master planning, landfill permitting, site development, landfill expansions and closures.

“Abdul brings superior credentials to serve SCS’s clients. Our Southeastern engineering teams bring a holistic approach to solid waste management by combining field skills, advanced technology, and engineering experts to focus on sustainable solutions,” states Vice President Shane Fischer.

Dr. Mulla-Saleh is a licensed Professional Engineer in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer who has supported large civil and environmental projects globally. His portfolio includes new site development and infrastructure projects, master plans for drainage and wastewater, solid waste management, hydrologic and hydraulic studies, flood control structures, pump stations, and roadways.

His successful track record includes projects in the US, where he completed environmental projects, including landfill engineering and solid waste management facilities design, sustainable waste management, including zero waste and carbon neutral concepts, and technical quality assurance.

Abdul is a published author and presents at industry and association educational events. He is a member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the International Solid Waste Association, and the Solid Waste Association of North America. He earned his PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of South Florida; his MS in Environmental Engineering also at the University of South Florida; and his BS in Civil Engineering at the University of South Alabama.



There is a demand for qualified professionals such as Abdul, and opportunities for those just beginning their careers at SCS Engineers. Each and every team at SCS has opportunities to help protect our water, air, and land for those interested in gaining experience or sharing their expertise with industries responsible for safeguarding the environment as they deliver essential services and products.

For more information about us, please watch our video to see what you can do for your business and community. If you prefer working outdoors as part of a talented, unique team please watch this short video. No matter your job at SCS, you will make a difference!






Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Biosolids and PFAS – What’s in my Fertilizer?

January 30, 2023

SCS Engineers
What’s in my fertilizer?


From the USEPA to headlines in the media, coverage of PFAS moving from wastewater to drinking water is a major concern. Furthermore, there are growing concerns about how much PFAS is in by-products that are recycled or reused from waste products. Topping that list is fertilizer.

Retail fertilizer products made from at least 50% biosolids commonly sold to the general public and used in farming contain PFAS, which could get into crops and stock, eating those crops. The Environmental Protection departments in some states are beginning to consider or pass state-level specific regulations on the content of PFAS in biosolids.

The December 2022 USEPA memo to states (pages 4-5) made these recommendations on biosolids as follows:

  1. Recommended Biosolids Assessment 1. Where appropriate, states may work with their POTWs to reduce the amount of PFAS chemicals in biosolids, in addition to the NPDES recommendations in Section B above, following these general steps:7 a. EPA recommends using draft method 1633 to analyze biosolids at POTWs for the presence of 40 PFAS chemicals.8 b. Where monitoring and IU inventory per section B.2 and B.3.a above indicate the presence of PFAS in biosolids from industrial sources, EPA recommends actions in B.3.b to reduce PFAS discharges from IUs. c. EPA recommends validating PFAS reductions with regular monitoring of biosolids. States may also use their available authorities to conduct quarterly monitoring of the POTWs (see 40 CFR 403.10(f)(2)).


Tony Kollasch, an environmental consultant specializing in remediation, tells us to use precaution and learn more about what plans are underway in your state. In his Wisconsin Agri-Business article, BIOSOLIDS and PFAS – NUTRIENTS with a SIDE OF CONCERN, he walks readers through the most recent reports and studies using plain language.

The issues and questions that come up are solvable. There are treatments for removing PFAS, and as an environmental engineering and consulting firm, we solve these types of challenges. We encourage the safe use of by-products and urge you to learn more about specific products by joining associations where you can educate yourself – it’s good for business and for understanding pending regulations that may impact your operations. It will help you run your business sustainably by making sound decisions based on human health, the environment, and economic demand.


Additional Resources:





Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am